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Children with enlarged tongues come to Mercy Children’s for life-changing surgery

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ST. LOUIS (KTVI) - Kids with a rare syndrome are coming from all over the world to St. Louis's Mercy Children’s Hospital for their specialized care. The children have Beckwith–Wiedemann syndrome. One in 14,000 children has the disorder, which causes parts of their body to overgrow.

Fox 2 News followed a Seattle five-month-old boy whose parents brought him to Mercy for tongue reduction surgery. Without surgery, his teeth and jaw will be malformed as he gets older. Right now, he has trouble eating, breathing and sleeping. He can't close his mouth.

Dr. Earl Gage said with the surgery, the boy will grow up normally. Mercy Children's has cared for more than 300 children with BWS, possibly more than any other hospital in the world.

We checked in with the child a couple of months after his surgery and he's doing great. His tongue is much smaller and he can now fit it into his mouth. He's breathing, eating, and sleeping much better. His parents said he's not the fussy baby he once was and they're thrilled with the outcome.